Customs rakes in N4 billion in Seme border
Seme Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), said it generated about N4.4 billion from January till date, and represents 65 per cent of the total allotted target for the year.
The Customs Area Controller, Seme Area Command, Comptroller Mohammed Uba Garba, who disclosed this during the half year review, said his officers and men in various operations had taken full advantage of available resources to increase revenue collection, suppression of smuggling, facilitation of legitimate trade, and improving community service.
Garba said the Command also made some seizure in the last three weeks, which include 5,204 bags of 50kg foreign rice (equivalent to 9 trailer trucks); 10 x 25litres jerry cans of vegetable oil; 13x50kg bags of sugar; 1,078 cartons of poultry products; 55 cartons of spaghetti; 97 cartons of soap; 59 cartons of insecticides.
Others are: 65×6 yards of textiles; 17 sacks of used clothes/shoes; 4 cartons of tin tomatoes; 36 bales of used cloths; 60 pieces of used tyres; 669 packs of PVC carpet/foot mats; and two cartons of cream.
The comptroller said 114 parcels of cannabis were also found concealed in one red Toyota Highlander jeep, and another 32 parcels in other operations with street value of over N1.681 million. He said nine trucks were placed on detention due to short payment, and another five vehicles were seized with duty paid value (DPV) of N7.5 million, which brought the total DPV for seizure within the three-week period to N112.4 million.
Garba disclosed that one suspect was arrested in connection with one of the seizure, and warned those engaged in illegal activities and other cross-border vices to avoid the Seme border, or risk arrest and possible prosecution.
He also advised all unit heads to ensure adequate supervision of their subordinates to facilitate legitimate trade across the frontier while equally keeping a healthy relationship with critical stakeholders. He argued that a holistic approach in executing the mandate of the Service, will lead to an all-encompassing result as revenue generation, suppression of smuggling, and legitimate trade facilitation will be adequately enhanced at the Lagos –Abidjan corridor without compromising national security.
He however assured the business communities that the Command would increase dialogue, enlightenment, and robust stakeholder engagements for seamless operations through the modern Joint Border Post, which is the first of its kind in the West African sub-region.
According to him the community dialogue is designed to promote regional integration, reduce clearing time at the border, increase government revenue, improve the free movement of persons and goods, eliminate corruption and loss of revenue at the borders, reduce delays, operating cost, and provide baseline data for impact assessment.